May 16 – 21 , 2021, Dagstuhl Seminar 21201

Serverless Computing


Cristina Abad (ESPOL – Guayaquil, EC)
Ian T. Foster (Argonne National Laboratory – Lemont, US)
Nikolas Herbst (Universität Würzburg, DE)
Alexandru Iosup (VU University Amsterdam, NL)

For support, please contact

Jutka Gasiorowski for administrative matters

Shida Kunz for scientific matters

Dagstuhl Reports

As part of the mandatory documentation, participants are asked to submit their talk abstracts, working group results, etc. for publication in our series Dagstuhl Reports via the Dagstuhl Reports Submission System.


List of Participants
Shared Documents


In the backbone of our digital society, cloud computing enables an efficient, utility-like ecosystem of developing, composing, and providing software services. Responding to a trend to make cloud computing services more accessible, fine-grained, and affordable, serverless computing has gained rapid adoption in practice, and garnered much interest from industry and academia. However successful, serverless computing manifests today the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology: a rapidly growing field but scattered vision, plenty of new technologies but no coherent approach to design solutions from them, many simple applications but no impressive advanced solution, the emergence of a cloud continuum (resources from datacenters to the edge) but no clear path to leverage it efficiently, and overall much need but also much technical complexity. Several related but disjoint fields, notably software and systems engineering, parallel and distributed systems, and system and performance analysis and modeling, aim to address these opportunities and challenges. Excellent collaboration between these fields in the next decade will be critical in establishing serverless computing as a viable technology. The purpose of this Dagstuhl Seminar is to bring together researchers, developers, and practitioners across disciplines in serverless computing, to develop a vision and detailed answers to the timely and relevant, open challenges related to the following topics: design decisions for serverless systems, platforms, and ecosystems, software engineering of serverless solutions, applications and domain requirements for serverless computing, evaluation of serverless solutions, and beyond (privacy, cyber-physical systems, etc.) We will integrate diverse views through this interdisciplinary approach and synthesize a shared vision for the next decade of serverless computing.

The goal of the seminar is to combine the views of a diverse and high-quality group of researchers spanning three disciplines: (1) software engineering, (2) parallel and distributed systems, and (3) performance engineering.

This Dagstuhl Seminar will be a catalyst. Attendees will discuss the open challenges and opportunities of serverless computing for the next decade, with a focus on at least the following crucial aspects and questions:

  • Envision serverless systems and applications in the next decade. How to leverage the freedom from operational concerns? How to overcome the challenge and enjoy the benefits of fine granularity?
  • How to properly engineer serverless software and systems? What are the emerging architectural patterns for serverless systems and applications? How to test and debug serverless systems and applications?
  • How to characterize, model, and analyze serverless systems and applications? How to understand the diverse serverless workloads?
  • How to manage the resources used in serverless operations? How to schedule and orchestrate in this environment? How to manage specific application classes, such as computer vision, enterprise workflows, HPC, DevOps?
  • How to deploy and manage the full lifecycle of serverless applications? How to add ML-capabilities to feedback loops? How to break through the operational silos?
  • How to support privacy, security, dependability, and other desirable operational properties for serverless applications and systems?
  • Beyond computer systems, how to consider serverless systems and applications from a holistic, cyber-physical perspective?

Motivation text license
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 DE
  Cristina Abad, Ian T. Foster, Nikolas Herbst, and Alexandru Iosup


  • Distributed / Parallel / And Cluster Computing
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Software Engineering


  • Serverless computing
  • Cloud continuum
  • Software architecture
  • Systems management
  • Vision


In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.


Download overview leaflet (PDF).


Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.